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How to Be a Webmaster: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a webmaster. Research the education and training requirements necessary for employment and learn about the experience you need to advance your career as a webmaster. View article »

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  • 0:00 Should I Become a Webmaster?
  • 1:08 Career Requirements
  • 1:39 Steps to Become a Webmaster

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Webmaster?

Webmasters manage the day-to-day functions of a website. They make updates to the content or respond to customer inquiries. In some cases, webmasters take on more complex roles, including site design and programming. At a minimum, a webmaster must be familiar with content management systems and basic programming languages, such as HTML. In addition, they are required to know web design and image software. Most webmasters work full-time. They complete their work in an office setting on a computer or multiple computers. Some webmasters are able to manage websites from home. Such professionals find employment with a company or be self-employed and take individual jobs on as they see fit. This career is not physically demanding, but does require long hours spent looking at a computer screen.

Many employers prefer webmasters have programming experience in languages such as PERL, Javascript, and cascading style sheets (CSS). Some webmaster positions require advanced skills in information technology to manage databases, security, and design.

Career Requirements

Education Required Specialized training required, often through postsecondary programs
Degree Field Computer science, web design, or related field
Experience 1+ years of experience
Key Skills Strong verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, customer service skills, and database skills
Median Salary (2015) $51,251

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job postings (September 2012), PayScale.com.

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Steps to Become a Webmaster

Step 1: Get Training

Webmasters using a content management system only require knowledge of the software and basic programming skills to keep a website afloat. Some HTML or software courses take place over a semester. Webmasters for more complex websites are required to know multiple programming languages. A certificate in web programming may suffice. A certificate program will cover programming languages such as HTML5, CSS, Javascript, and XHTML. The program will also cover introductory coursework in software used for web design. Some certificate programs include basic instruction in web design and usability.

Step 2: Get Experience

Employers require webmaster candidates to have at least one year of webmaster work for a position. Individuals create their own website or blog to display knowledge of content updates and creation, programming skills, web design, and best practices. In addition, webmasters can volunteer for social groups, churches, or non-profits to maintain a website.

Many websites incorporate social media or use social media to direct customers to the website. Webmasters should familiarize themselves with popular social media applications and tools designed to integrate social media with a website.

Step 3: Continue Education for Career Advancement

As technology changes and organizations change, websites and their webmasters will have to look for new and cutting-edge ways to attract visitors. Associate and bachelor's degree programs in computer science, web marketing, or web design help webmasters improve the quality of their sites and find innovative ways to attract visitors. A 4-year program will cover technology to create eye-catching designs and maintain secure information. Some information technology degrees offer students the opportunity to focus on particular areas such as information security.

Aspiring webmasters need at least one year experience as well as training in programming languages and content management systems, which can be found at colleges and universities through courses and certificate programs.

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